Month: November 2019

Mangy Mites Mess up the Mammalian Microbiome

Mites are small arthropods, closely related to spiders. While not all mites are parasitic, and many parasitize plants, some mites do cause problems for mammals. The most important of these are scabies mites, such Sarcoptes scabiei, belonging to the Sarcoptidae family. These mites crawl on and within the skin of mammals, and create burrows to lay their eggs in. Their activity causes an intense allergic reaction, leading to itching. Scratching this itch may then lead to secondary bacterial infection, such as impetigo or eczema. Humans, as other mammals, can be infected with a human-specific subspecies of mites, leading to...

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Doing research with those who use it

We are excited to release our special collection of concept papers exploring the history, boundaries, and future of research co-production – what we in Canada call integrated knowledge translation (IKT). It is well known that the application of research findings in health care and policy is less than optimal. Up to 50% of patients do not receive treatments proven to be effective and as many as 25% receive care known to be ineffective and even harmful. Co-production holds enormous promise as an approach that increases the relevance and potential impact of research evidence. Research co-production is a relatively new...

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Achieving and sustaining elimination: How the Geshiyaro Project might shape the future of schistosomiasis and soil-transmitted helminths programmes

Photo taken during a field trip to Wolaita Zone, Ethiopia to visit the Geshiayaro Project. Photo credit Justine Marshall. Deworming and Elimination Schistosomiasis and STH are neglected tropical diseases (NTDs) that thrive in underdeveloped areas where access to clean water and sanitation is limited. More than one billion people are infected with these parasitic infections, which can exacerbate social and economic challenges and trap entire communities in cycles of poverty. Political will to control and eliminate NTDs has increased in recent years. The Sustainable Development Goals call for an end to the epidemic of NTDs by 2030. The 2012...

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All together to end COPD

(Image by Semevent from Pixabay, CC0 license) What is COPD? Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is just not one disease. It is a group of diseases characterized by breathing difficulties. COPD includes emphysema, damaged air sacs in the lungs, chronic bronchitis, and inflamed airways. In COPD, the airways are narrowed due to inflammation, making it harder to breathe. COPD affects 10.1% of the global population and causes over 3 million deaths annually. However, many people with COPD don’t know they have COPD. The most common symptoms of COPD are breathlessness, difficult exercising, persistent cough with phlegm production, wheezing, and...

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Communities make the difference: World AIDS Day 2019

© chuwy / iStock This year’s theme for World AIDS Day recognizes the vital role of communities in supporting and educating at a local level, helping to deliver services at a regional level and raising awareness at a global level. This blog highlights research registered at the ISRCTN registry that investigates how to harness community power to reduce transmission of HIV and improve the wellbeing of people living with HIV/AIDS. Targeting gender inequality to improve health In many regions, lack of education and resources are linked to increased rates of early marriage and childbearing, gender-based violence, condomless intercourse and...

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